2nd – 15th April 2018

With yet more days lost to the bad weather the last two weeks started with somewhat of a hit and miss feel to them. The relentless easterly winds brought in yet another dose of snow and this was followed by two days of non-stop rain. Thankfully it would seem that we have at last entered a more settled period and as a result catching has been splendid.

The fish began the season quite predictably taking a range of lures with the most effective being black and green but even over the course of one week we are now seeing a change in feeding patterns with buzzers and occasionally dries working very well indeed. The middle of last week saw the fish rising in all parts of the loch but with a heavy concentration around the deeper water area of the buoys. Those that were here took full advantage of this and armed with Shipmans Buzzers (size 14 black and white) returned very good catches indeed. Guy Nicholson and his boat partner James Carr had a very impressive 56 fish to the boat in a day session that started relatively slowly and developed into a memorable outing. Judy Whitelaw fishing with her grandson Ewan and granddaughter Erica age 7 also had a great 4 hour session, the best part of which was Erica catching her first ever rainbow with her first cast of the day and following it up with another beauty a little later on. She must be thinking that there’s nothing to this game of fly fishing!! Well done Erica.

Here’s a quick run through a list of a number of people who did well during the last two weeks and the flies that they used:

  • Archie Richmond and Jock Hunter 11 from the bank. Small green damsel.
  • Stewart 8 from the bank including one brownie. Damsel and Diawl Bach.
  • John McGee fishing with his buddy Chic had a great week staying in Elm Chalet. They fished every day and their returns were impressive. Their best day saw them catch 48 fish to the boat using buzzers and rabbits.
  • Rob Frame and Pete Davison landed a total of 15 fish to the bank on a very cold and wet day using damsels and black nymphs.
  • Willie Crombie and Davy Jackson had 15 to the boat using buzzer an damsel
  • Colin McIsaac had 9 to the bank including one brown. CDC shuttlecock, hare’s ear, f fly
  • A McGill had 11 to the boat including one brown using cormorant and diawl bach
  • Iain Tomson had 15 to the boat. Damsel and buzzers
  • Bob Harrison had 10 to the boat in a four hour session and 11 on his next short. Smuts on the first session and CDC buzzers on the second
  • Ewan Whitelaw had 10 to the boat in a short session and a further 10 in his next visit including a 3lb blue. CDC, buzzers
  • Alistair Laing fishing with his two daughters had 13 to the boat including two browns
  • Zander Kennie had 10 to the boat and unusually 9 browns and one rainbow. Claret buzzers
  • Neil Keillor had 10 to the boat using FAB, buzzers and dries his comment being ‘fab day, plenty of fish showing all over’.
  • K and R Wilson had 20 to the boat. CDCs
  • Derek Tree 10 to the boat in a short evening session. Emergers
  • Robbie Bell and Alec Harvey had 21 to the boat. Diawl bach, olive buzzers
  • T Masterton had 10 to the boat using damsel


Club News:

  • Anchor Inn FFC – A total of 23 fish for 9 rods. Jim Blair had the best bag of the day using a montana.
  • Leith FFC – Reported seeing plenty of fish and having as great day.
  • Edinburgh Post Office AC – had a total of 109 fish for 11 rods. There were no blanks and the comment was – “a great day for the club”
  • Pencaitland FFC – 47 fish in total the biggest went to Drew Fairgreave a 4lb 5 oz rainbow. The heaviest bag was shared between Drew Fairgreave and John Durie which was 11lbs 7 oz for 4 fish. Worth mentioning John Durie had 3 blues all over 3lbs in weight. The club’s comment for the day was ‘Never seen as many fish. Awesome day, club can’t wait to return’.

Other news:

  • As we mentioned in our last report, we were due to hold our first Coldingham Loch Youth Competition last week but a number of factors, including the bad weather conspired against us and so it has been postponed until May. More of this in Robbies blog.
  • Just a quick reminder to boat anglers to allow those people fishing the bank ample room to cast. The fish are very well distributed and therefore there should be no need for over- crowding in any area of the loch.
  • Bob and James Cockburn witnessed an Osprey taking a fish from the loch last week. Although we have seen the occasional osprey passing by the loch we have never had a sighting of one actually fishing and so this as far as we know is a first for Coldingham. I don’t think that it means that they will stay to nest here but who knows?
  • Jock Hunter was also in amongst the wildlife whilst fishing the bank. He was joined by two otters out for their morning constitutional.
  • A very early heads up that our annual charity Lad(y)s and Dads dad will once again be held on the last Sunday in September which this year is on Sunday 30th Places for this are very limited and will be given on a first come first served basis and so an early booking from you is recommended. Please phone asap to secure your booking.

Robbies Blog:


Lots of activities and sports clubs are struggling to find new recruits these days and Fishing and Fishing Clubs are no exceptions.

Pubs are struggling to fill Darts and Pool teams. Bowling Clubs have traditionally attracted slightly older people but their membership is getting even older as time goes by.

Fly Fishing has the same problem. Attracting the new generation is getting more and more difficult.

So I thought I could at least help and organised a Youth day at the Loch.  Unfortunately the weather got in the way and we have had to re-schedule for later in the year.

It is a bit like herding cats as the school holidays are different on each side of the border!

The day will consist of coaching in the morning covering a wide range of subjects such a Safety, Tackle, Basic Entomology, Casting and Retrieves, as well as Boatmanship and Fish Handling.

This will be done on the shore and in the hut. Meanwhile the accompanying Adults will be out fishing and trying to find a location and a method for the afternoon’s competition between their respective youngsters.

This will be a catch and release competition divided into 4 continuous 1 hour session. There will be a point for every Rainbow caught and 2 points for every Brown Trout. In addition an extra point will be awarded for catching a fish in a session.

 We are starting off small with just a few youngsters but perhaps in the future we can build on this.

Perhaps if you know a youngster you could take them fishing one day.

 Possibly just down to the local harbour or pier for a bash at the Poddlies, Flatties or Mackerel.

Now most of the people who come to me for Tuition are completely new to fly fishing and are in their 40’s, 50’s or 60.s however the vast majority have had some sort of fishing seed sown when they were young.

So perhaps even the odd few outings with a child will help our recruitment in the future.

By all means have a day or half day out on the Loch and do the casting for them but try and pick a good day where the chances of catching are high.

If this weather ever picks up between now and the middle of June is a good time.

Set up a washing line with a Black Buzzer an Olive Buzzer and maybe a Diawl Bach and cast it out across the breeze for them.

 Let it swing on the wind for a while and then just slowly twiddle it back.

Hopefully it will lock up and that “Electric Jolt” will have them hooked for life.

Good Luck.


Robbie Bell        Resident  Instructor and Guide



Visiting Clubs:

We are pleased to be welcoming the following clubs over the next two week period and hope that the buzzers and dries and in top form.

  • Edinburgh Breadalbane AC
  • Bank of Scotland FFC
  • Roslin Elite FFC
  • Wansbeck and Blyth AC
  • Heriots AC
  • Edinburgh Amateurs AC



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